Pulut Inti | KitchenTigress

Pulut Inti

Pulut inti is a Nyonya kueh. It's like Thai mango sticky rice except there's no mango. It has grated coconut instead, as a topping.

The rice layer is very pretty with a mix of blue and white. The blue bits are coloured with the juice of blue pea flowers. The coconut layer is brown because it's sweetened with palm sugar.

Making pulut inti is a doddle. Just steam some glutinous rice and grated coconut, and put the two together. Easy peasy.

Pulut inti is good so long as the topping isn't too sweet, and the rice isn't mushy. This is a pretty simple kueh that really can't go wrong.

(Recipe for 10 portions)
Pulut (glutinous rice)
320 g glutinous rice (1½ cups)
120 ml water (½ cup)
¾ tsp salt
4 pandan leaves, bottom half only
rinse thoroughly; crumple by wringing
150 ml fresh undiluted coconut milk
65 bunga telang (blue pea flowers), fresh or dried
if fresh, pound finely, place in a small strainer, and press hard with back of tsp or thumbs to yield 4 tsp blue liquid;
if dried, sprinkle with 1½ tbsp hot water, pound finely, strain as above to yield 4 tsp blue liquid
Inti (topping)
4 pandan leaves, bottom half only
rinse thoroughly; crumple by wringing
2 tbsp water
200 g peeled and grated fresh coconut
80 g medium brown palm sugar, roughly chopped
4 tsp sugar
⅛ tsp salt
¼ cup water
½ tbsp tapioca starch

1. To make pulut, rinse glutinous rice till water runs clear. Drain thoroughly in a sieve. Transfer rice to a bowl that holds 3-4 cups. Sprinkle with salt and stir through. Tuck pandan leaves in rice. Smooth the top. Add 120 ml water. Steam 15 minutes over rapidly boiling water.

2. Drizzle rice with half of coconut milk. Mix with chopsticks till absorbed. Drizzle with remaining coconut milk. Repeat mixing with chopsticks. Make a few holes in the rice, then resume steaming, this time for 5 minutes. Drizzle with blue flower liquid. Continue steaming till rice is cooked but not mushy, about 5 minutes. Taste and see if it is. If slightly undercooked, steam another 5 minutes. If very undercooked, sprinkle with 1-2 tbsp water, then steam 5 minutes.

3. Have a taste when rice is done, with some grated coconut prepared as detailed below. Add more sugar, gula melaka or salt if necessary.

4. Remove rice from heat and discard pandan leaves. Rake with chopsticks to mix blue and white rice. Leave on a wire rack till cool, then cover till ready to serve.

5. To make inti, place 2 tbsp water and pandan leaves in an electric rice cooker on cook mode. When pandan leaves are fragrant or cooker changes to keep warm mode, add grated coconut, palm sugar, salt and ¼ cup water. Stir to mix thoroughly. Press cook button and cook 10 minutes. Sprinkle with tapioca starch. Stir to mix thoroughly. Continue cooking till cooker changes to keep warm mode.

6. Check that gula melaka and sugar are melted. If not, continue cooking 5 minutes or so on keep warm mode. Have a taste as detailed above. Discard pandan leaves. Leave on a wire rack till cool, then cover till ready to serve.

7. To serve, place ⅓ cup rice on a small plate and top with 2 tbsp grated coconut, or 3 tbsp for those with a sweet tooth. If you like, you could wrap each portion in a piece of banana leaf. Leftovers should be refrigerated. Sprinkle with a bit of water, steam to reheat thoroughly, then cool to room temperature before eating.